Travel shoes aren’t usually very cute, trading style for utilitarianism. But recently, I’ve discovered that my El Naturalista Wakataua shoes hold up pretty well on my travels and around home, all while looking pretty good. And aside from the comfort and cuteness factors, they’re also made in an eco-conscious way.
The shoes are made of leaves leather, a brightly colored leather, tanned in Spain in a semi-vegetable way. Mine are green, but the shoes also come in red, orange, black and brown.
The insoles are made from recycled cork, which helps absorb shock but also seems to conform to your foot shape, providing a glove-like fit. (The same goes for the leather upper, for that matter. My shoes seem to fit me perfectly.) A recycled carbon compound used in the insoles also helps give anti-bacterial benefits, which are always welcome in shoes.
The outsole is made of natural rubber, adding to the comfort and long life of the shoes, as well as protecting them from the things you walk across every day. If you want waterproof shoes, these aren’t them, but they’re great everyday shoes, for your city and casual itineraries.
These particular shoes have a hook and loop Velcro closure in back. I’ve only needed to secure it once—when I got the shoes—to make sure it was set in a comfortable way. Since then, I just slip the shoes on and off and haven’t touched the closure since. Great for a region like Asia where you’re constantly taking your shoes off.